28th July

NPG P1825; Beatrix Potter (Mrs Heelis) by Charles King

1866 Beatrix Potter born

1887 Marcel Duchamp born – do your kids think this is art?

Commemoration of the Great Upheaval (1755-64 Brits kicked out Acadians, French settlers, from Canada)

Ólavsøka Eve (Faroe Islands Parliament opens tomorrow on St Olaf’s Day, when there will be a boat race, Faroese chain dancing, etc.)

Anniversary of the Fall of Fascism: (San Marino, after WWII)

St Marinus founded San Marino when he built a church and monastery on Mount Titano, a secluded Alpine peak, in 301 A.D.

When Italy was being unified, San Marino protected those that were pro-unification, and this meant that Garibaldi let San Marino off the hook when it came to being part of Italy. San Marino made Abraham Lincoln one of its honorary citizens for trying to build a similar republic.

During WWI it remained neutral, which annoyed Italy so it cut its telephone lines. WWII it was neutral again.

In 1923-45 it was ruled by a fascist party; in 1945-57 it had the world’s first democratically elected Communist party.

It has no national debt, and makes a lot of income selling its own coins, its own Euros, and its own stamps to collectors. Their most famous dessert is the Torta de Tre Monti.

Independence Day (Peru from Spain):

Peru was home to the Norte Chico civilisation 3,000 years ago, the oldest civilisation in the Americas and one of only six known ancient civilisations in the world.

In the 15th century the Incas flourished, but in 1532 king Atahualpa was captured by Spanish conquistadors. Its silver resources and native slave labour made it valuable.

After it gained independence in 1821, it managed to find income through exporting guano (bird or bat poo).

Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879-83 War of the Pacific (also involving Bolivia, over resources and land). Now it has problems with debt, drug-trafficking, inflation, human rights issues, corruption and all that.

Here is a nice site on the Incas for kids, and there are lots of crafts: make Peruvian beads, make a llama felt bag, try some weaving, metal tooling using disposable tinfoil containers.

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